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Should Women Also Perform Itikaaf at Mosque or Can They Perform It at Home Also?

Praise be to Allah

I’tikaaf is only valid if done in the mosque, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I‘tikaaf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques”

[al-Baqarah 2:187]

Men and women are equal in this regard.

Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni:

A woman has the right to observe i‘tikaaf in any mosque, and that is not subject to the condition that it be a mosque where prayers are performed in congregation, because that is not obligatory upon her. This was the view of al-Shaafa’i.

She does not have the right to observe i'tikaaf in her house, because Allah says “while you are in I‘tikaaf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques”, and because the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked him for permission to observe i’tikaaf in the mosque, and he gave them permission.
The wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked him for permission to observe i’tikaaf in the mosque and he gave them permission, and they used to observe i’tikaaf in the mosque after he died.

If it were permissible for a woman to observe i’tikaaf in her house, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would have told them to do that, because it is better for a woman to remain concealed in her house than to go out to the mosque.

It is not correct for a man or a woman to observe i'tikaaf anywhere except in the mosque.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about where a woman who wants to observe i’tikaaf should do so?

He replied:

If a woman wants to observe i’tikaaf, she should observe i’tikaaf in the mosque so long as that does not involve anything that is forbidden according to sharee’ah. If that does involve anything that is forbidden then she should not do i’tikaaf.

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